Protest against attack on Christians in India
[TamilNet, Monday, 08 February 1999, 14:19 GMT]
More than three thousand people took part in a peaceful march this afternoon around 3 p.m. in downtown Colombo to protest against the attacks on Christians in India. The protestors wound their way towards the Indian High Commission and stood there peacefully with their placards.
The organisers of this protest march, the Christian Consultation of Sri Lanka (CCSL) and the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), said that this was a "united Church prayer walk".
A statement signed by the General Secretaries of the two organisations, Harim Peiris (CCSL) and Godfrey Yogarajah (NCEASL), states -
"Christians in Sri Lanka are deeply troubled by the rising tide of violence against Christians in India and the subcontinent. We are especially perturbed that these attacks are orchestrated by the groups and persons closely identified with the ruling government in India. In recent times, Christians have been subjected to various forms of humiliation and physical harm, nuns have been raped and tortured, places of worship burnt and destroyed, pastors assaulted and property of Christians damaged. Sri Lankan Christians are concerned about the lack of protection afforded to our Indian brothers to freely practice and preach their faith. We appeal to the government and the peace loving people of India to exert their power and influence to crack down on these anti-social elements. We appeal to the Indian authorities to respect the dignity of their fellow countrymen and ensure their basic freedom of thought, conscience and religion as stated in UN declarations."